You are perfect, only you don’t know it.
Learn to know yourself and you will discover wonders.
All you need is already within you, only you must approach yourself with reverence and love.
Self-condemnation and self-distrust are grievous errors.
Your constant flight from pain and search for pleasure is a sign of the love you bear for yourself;
all I plead with you is this: make love of yourself perfect.
Deny yourself nothing – give yourself infinity and eternity and discover that
you do not need them; you are beyond.
— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
As I was out walking this morning, I wondered about this world we live in. It is a beautiful, terrible place. I wonder if we humans will ever learn to live with one another in love and peace, or will there always be fear, hate, killing, and war. Alas, I have no answers, and the only person I have any control over is myself and even that is debatable so let’s move on to something else for now.
You might remember that my words for this year are curiosity and reverence, and those words have brought me to an unexpected place. I find myself looking inside rather than outside. I have become curious about myself. Who is this person that I think I am? Who is it that despairs, that laughs, that loves, that fears, that wonders, that questions?
Over the weekend I listened to talk by Tara Brach about reverence and love. Many wise people have advised that to love others, we have to start with love and reverence for ourselves. John O’Donohue wrote:
You can never love another person unless you are equally involved in the beautiful but difficult spiritual work of learning to love yourself. There is within each of us, at the soul level, an enriching fountain of love. In other words, you do not have to go outside yourself to know what love is. This is not selfishness, and it is not narcissism; they are negative obsessions with the need to be loved. Rather this is the wellspring of love within the heart. Through their need for love, people who lead solitary lives often stumble upon this great fountain. They learn to whisper awake the deep well of love within. This is not a question of forcing yourself to love yourself. It is more a question of exercising reserve, of inviting the wellspring of love that is, after all, your deepest nature to flow through your life.
~ Excerpted from Anam Cara
Listening to Ms. Brach’s talk, there were a number of things that struck me in the way a chime does at the end of a meditation, rippling through me in waves. The first was that we should have love and reverence for ourselves in the same way that we have love and reverence for our spouses or our children or a tree or animals or whatever it is we love and revere. Sometimes in my quest to be as kind and compassionate with myself as I am with my loved ones and friends (and the trees and the earth), I forget that I am just as worthy of those things as I believe others to be.
The second was that in order to open our hearts to love and reverence, we must first forgive ourselves whatever trespasses we think/know we’ve committed. Without that, we contract and live from a sense of fear rather than love, trying to control everything rather than be the free and spontaneous people we are meant to be.
The third was to give thanks to ourselves, to express gratitude for this life, this body, this being that allows us to experience this life.
The meditation Ms. Brach suggested was to say to yourself “I’m sorry, I love you, thank you.” Or you could reframe it as “It’s okay (or you’re forgiven), I love you, thank you.”
I’m not going anywhere with this. Just meandering and sharing what I learned by listening to Ms. Brach. During her talk, she shared this quote:
The Mother of the Universe refuses to let me worship her outside myself anymore. She has withdrawn inside me and tells me if I want to know her I have to come inside, too, which is the last place I want to be. Although she’s been telling me for years, she’s never gone to this extreme before – of actually hiding inside me. If I want to love her, I can only do it by loving myself now.
~ Cassia Berman
I think the voice of the Mother of the Universe must be a very soft whisper. We have to listen carefully if we want to hear her. Or maybe we just have to be willing to listen. Yes, I think that’s more likely.
Thank you for meandering along with me on this beautiful Monday. The weather today has been delightful. Cooler and drier than what we experienced over the weekend. There are some high, thin clouds wisping across the brilliant blue sky. That could mean an interesting sunset this evening. Let’s meet down at the Point just to see what happens. Sunset is at 8:27 PM. It should be pleasant. There is a lovely breeze keeping the biting insects away.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
Today’s joys: The freshening breeze blowing the heat and humidity out to sea; the hummingbirds flitting around the scrounger’s garden; the first zinnia bloom of the season; the increase in the number of bluebirds hanging out here at the ranch; bumblebees enjoying the lavender.